do you recognize me?

I am writing this post with help from some speech recognition software. Having fibromyalgia, my hands and arms get very tired when typing making it really difficult for me to get my work done.  The pain shoots up from my fingertips all the way through my shoulders. I was working on revising an article last week, and I really think I over did it. I held off on getting any software before today because I wasn’t sure that it would really help. And it’s been frustrating as I’ve only had it for two days, and it takes a while for the software to get used to your voice and your speaking style. But I’ve written this much so far and there have been only a few mistakes. So exciting. I need to figure out how to get it to work for things other than Word processing such surfing the net etc. etc.

Did you know that this week is invisible chronic illness awareness week? I didn’t. I found out while listening to NPR Monday morning. I went to the website of the organization that is sponsoring the week, and they had some good information.  I pretty much stayed away from many of the other sites that are for people with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia because it seems that a lot of people are more interested in complaining rather than support.  I don’t know if that makes sense, but sometimes I just get the feeling that the people are online more to bitch about having an illness rather than thinking about how they can cope and make their lives better.  But I think this site gives really good information, especially for those who are looking to figure out how to support someone they know who has a chronic invisible illness.

So check it out if you’re so inclined, and I think I’ll get back to training my speech recognition system so I can actually do some real work.  I must have a funny accent or something, because it keeps getting the same words wrong 😦

8 thoughts on “do you recognize me?

  1. eh? i didn’t see any wrong word at all. did you edit? this software seems to be working great — tell me that it speech-recognized the emoticon at the end and i’ll get it right away!

    hope it doesn’t take much longer to train it to do academic writing.


  2. Looked pretty good to me too; I recognize you! 🙂 How quickly does it work–can you talk at the rate you would talk to a person in front of you? The process of talking is much different from the process of writing–do you think it will change your output?


  3. Good luck with the software. I used it 9 years ago (so older version) when I had a broken wrist. It is hard to get used to but if you stick with it, it gets better, both for recognizing your particular voice and for you being used to dictating rather than typing. I have not talked to people about it recently, but I think it takes several weeks to a month before you get it trained well enough not to drive you crazy. But as an investment in your long-term health and productivity, it is likely to be worth it. Good luck!


  4. Very cool! I used Dragon to transcribe some of my interviews. I just put on headphones and repeated what the people said. I was able to do it without rewinding or pausing too often, which was nice. Haven’t tried it for other things….


  5. I had an officemate when I was working at an elementary school who was a “Bilingual Resource” somethingorother, and a big part of her job was to translate everything that went home to parents into Spanish. She had permanently damaged her wrist a few years back, and had to use Dragon for all her work. She found that, on the one hand, using it did get easier (both because the software recognized her better & she was able to adapt to the program somewhat), but on the other hand, she talked so much during the day that her voice would sometimes get pretty hoarse — leading, of course, to recognition problems.


  6. It still sounds like you :). I used Dragon to transcribe some interviews as well, but that was a few years ago and it’s supposed to have improved since. Good luck!


  7. my response to your questions:

    I did do some editing. I just could not leave the mistakes as they were. And yes, all I had to say was “frowny-face” and the 😦 came up! Very cool. Although editing with the microphone seems to be more difficult than just physically doing it with the keyboard. But I guess, it’s just another thing to get used to.

    I do find that “writing” this way makes me think differently before I write. I have to think in complete sentences. Right now I do think I am speaking more slowly than my normal voice. And I have to enunciate.

    When I am dictating long passages, my throat does get dry. And user’s manual for the software, it gives tips on how to take care of your voice while using the speech recognition. And it’s weird, because I’m used to being silent during the day, at home, doing my work. Now I’m talking a lot, and really, I’m talking to myself. Which kind of makes me feel crazy :).


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